NGHỆ AN — A rare Buddhist tower in the central province of Nghệ An is on the verge of collapse if no renovation work is carried out.
The tower stands 22m tall like a sword pointing to the sky in Yên Hòa Village, Mỹ Lý Commune, Kỳ Sơn District.
|The tower is located in a remote border village. Photo dantri.com.vn|
The tower includes two parts, the foundation and body of the tower, which is a square brick pillar measuring 5m each side.
Its peak consists of various storeys. The tower is covered with moss and grass.
|The tower is surrounded by wild moss and grass. Photo dantri.com.vn|
Beside it stands a Bodhi tree, as high as the tower. Locals built a small temple beside the tree and placed two statues of Buddha measuring some 15cm high. There are some statues inside the tower that are bigger.
According to some researchers, the tower was built by Theravada Buddhist monks, who moved from Thailand to Laos and into Việt Nam in the 7th century.
|The brick tower in a bad state. Photo dantri.com.vn|
The tower now is seriously degraded. Local authorities have installed warning signs for locals and tourists. They have also asked concerned agencies to renovate the tower.
Yet there has been no repairs as yet.
Kha Văn Nghệ, 55, a local resident, said when he was small he saw many Buddha statues around the tower.
Since 1970 many statues have been robbed, he said.
|A warning sign. Photo dantri.com.vn|
“Some people even broke in the tower to take statues and ancient objects away,” he said.
Lương Văn Bảy, chairman of the commune's People's Committee, said though the tower is situated in a fairly remote area and is dilapidated, the tower has still attracted visitors.
“Every month, residents still burn incense and bring offerings to the tower and temple,” he said.
"We hope concerned agencies will soon renovate the ancient tower,” Bảy said. —VNS